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Thread: Mali mainly, 2012 coup, drugs & more

  1. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by KingJaja View Post
    There isn't such a thing as a "homogeneous" ethnic group anywhere in Africa. (I should know, I belong to one).

    As to the boundaries, they will be adjusted and that will happen - watch what will happen to Africa when the French finally pull out.
    You are exactly right. Ethiopia and Sudan have already been divided. Somalia is not too far from it right now. It is very possible that your own Nigeria will see the same in the next few years.

    The last 50 years has seen African nations gain independence, the next 50 will see a redrawing of the map - a map that will reflect more the real nations, kingdoms and ethnic groups of the continent.

    And, IMHO, it has nothing to do with whining about a colonial legacy, but more about the true makeup of Africa.
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 03-23-2012 at 08:42 PM. Reason: Copied here from the Nigeria thread

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    Default Fight for Gadfy 1st, now become AQIM linked?

    Chowing commented:
    AQIM is linked with the Malian rebels recently returned from fighting in Lybia.
    The rebels in most reports I have read were mercenaries for Gadafy and fought against a coalition that included jihadists. Returning home before the end, along with heavy weapons - which the Malian army had nothing to compare. Film footage tonight showed "technicals" and lorry-mounted rocket launchers.

    So how do these men now become linked to AQIM?
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 03-23-2012 at 08:43 PM. Reason: Copied here from the Nigeria thread
    davidbfpo

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    Quote Originally Posted by KingJaja View Post
    This looks like total mayhem. It seems as if Mali has been set back a few years.
    Sadly, now set back several decades. This sounds like just about every upheaval I've had the pleasure of witnessing.

    It's one thing to say you're doing it for your people and country...

    The mutinous soldiers, angered by what they saw as President Amadou Toumani Toure's poor handling of a northern rebellion, roamed the streets of the capital after over-running the presidential palace and taking control of state television.
    And, it's entirely another to perform this, with the general consent and participation of the population...

    "People are afraid because of the soldiers. Often (they take) what is in the car or they make you get out and take the car or sometimes the soldiers themselves just break into shops," said Bamako resident Adama Quindo.
    This would be more to be concerned about and just where it's heading after Mali

    flooded with men and weapons after Libya's civil war
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    Quote Originally Posted by JMA View Post
    Dah... the countries who keep whining about the colonial legacy.
    Exactly... meaning it will happen gradually, messily, and as required, usually when an intractable civil war forces it. It won't be preemptive: countries aren't going to rearrange their borders or divide themselves to prevent violence, they do it when violence reaches a level that makes it impossible to do anything else.

    Even where there's broad agreement that colonial-era borders are a disastrous legacy, there are all kinds of wildly different ideas of what adjustments are needed, usually driven more by perceived self-interest than by a desire to prevent violence. One more thing to fight over.
    Last edited by Dayuhan; 03-23-2012 at 09:28 PM.
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    You are exactly right. Ethiopia and Sudan have already been divided. Somalia is not too far from it right now. It is very possible that your own Nigeria will see the same in the next few years.

    The last 50 years has seen African nations gain independence, the next 50 will see a redrawing of the map - a map that will reflect more the real nations, kingdoms and ethnic groups of the continent.

    And, IMHO, it has nothing to do with whining about a colonial legacy, but more about the true makeup of Africa.
    In Nigeria's case it is not a question of whether, but when and how.

    Look at this map:



    On overlay of ethno-linguistic groups and political boundaries (the definitions here are pretty broad).

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    Quote Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
    So how do these men now become linked to AQIM?
    "Linked to AQIM" is a phrase that needs to be approached with a lot of wariness and a lot of skepticism. Of course there are all kinds of "links" between and among numerous groups, but governments and rival groups will inevitably exaggerate and distort links to AQIM in an effort to get the US to start shelling out. Nobody's forgotten the days when shouting "communists" opened the US treasury, and people will be trying to see if the word "terrorist" has the same magical effect.
    “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary”

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    Quote Originally Posted by KingJaja View Post
    In Nigeria's case it is not a question of whether, but when and how.

    Look at this map:

    [snip] to save space

    On overlay of ethno-linguistic groups and political boundaries (the definitions here are pretty broad).
    Very, very broad.

    Take the case of 'little' Malawi for instance. (from here)

    Malawi's population is made up of the Chewa, Nyanja, Tumbuka, Yao, Lomwe, Sena, Tonga, Ngoni and Ngonde native ethnic groups, as well as populations of Asians and Europeans. Major languages include Chichewa, an official language spoken by over 57% of the population, Chinyanja (12.8%), Chiyao (10.1%) and Chitumbuka (9.5%).

    Other native languages are Malawian Lomwe, spoken by around 250,000 in the southeast of the country; Kokola, spoken by around 200,000 people also in the southeast; Lambya, spoken by around 45,000 in the northwestern tip; Ndali, spoken by around 70,000; Nyakyusa-Ngonde, spoken by around 300,000 in northern Malawi; Malawian Sena, spoken by around 270,000 in southern Malawi; and Tonga, spoken by around 170,000 in the north.
    There remains significant ethnic 'awareness' in Malawi which is reflected in voting patterns to this day.

    The smaller groups within Malawi are often found in larger number just across the border. Inside the country their areas are often fairly accurately demarcated by 'district' boundaries.

    If there was the will...

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    Quote Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
    The rebels in most reports I have read were mercenaries for Gadafy and fought against a coalition that included jihadists. Returning home before the end, along with heavy weapons - which the Malian army had nothing to compare. Film footage tonight showed "technicals" and lorry-mounted rocket launchers.
    Yes probably.

    The key issue here is that they will have logistics and supply problems for the weapons/equipment/vehicles they brought back from Libya.

    A good field commander would tempt them to move around and fire off as much ammunition as possible until they run short or the vehicles break. (Their accuracy is not likely to be good, but the big bangs of HE are likely to scare the hell out of the rag-tag Malian army)

    Then with a level playing field they close in for the kill...
    Last edited by JMA; 03-24-2012 at 09:28 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Uboat509 View Post
    My point was simply that these groups do not necessarily want the same things. Statements about what the Tuareg want must be viewed with some suspicion since there is a very real possibility that that they do not all want these things. Also the fact that they are so spread out begs the question of whose homeland do they want? In other words, do the Malian Tuareg want the homeland to be in what is now northern Mali? What about the Nigerien Tuareg? Are the Tuareg in others areas going to be willing to relocate to this new homeland?

    Read my post again. I did not advocate any "fixes." I was, in fact, advocating against fixes imposed by foreign governments i.e. forcing existing states to cede sovereign land for the creation of a Tuareg homeland.

    My comment about the viability of the lands was regarding the terrain, weather and lack of resources. I do not think that I will get a lot of argument that the Sahel is one of the harshest places to live in the world. If they were to create a new state there how would that state feed its people, never mind establish a viable economy? I have no idea what the last part of your statement was about.
    I don't want to get into a back and forth with you over this but I need to comment.

    You need to accept that comment like "Statements about what the Tuareg want must be viewed with some suspicion" must surely also apply to what you were told and what you believe, yes?

    Your 'fix' is not to do anything... so the war will continue. Some fix that is.

    Like indigenous people in other extreme climatic areas maybe they just want to continue with their traditional way of life. Maybe they don't want a modern state with malls, Walmart, MacDonald's and Starbucks. No matter how backward we may think their lifestyle is maybe they like it just like that ... and are prepared to fight for it.

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    Default Was the Mali coup leader trained in the U.S.?

    What do you think?

    An interesting nugget from the AP's latest dispatch from Bamako:

    A diplomat who requested anonymity because he is not authorized to speak to the press said that [Capt. Amadou Haya] Sanogo, the coup leader, was among the elite tier of soldiers selected by the U.S. Embassy to receive military counterterrorism training in America. Sanogo, the official said, traveled "several times" to America for the special training.

    That means that he had to pass a background check indicating that he was not complicit in any human rights crimes. The official requested not to be named because he was not authorized to speak to the media.

    As blogger Laura Seay quips, "your tax dollars at work."

    The U.S. hasn't yet made a decision on whether to cut off military assistance to Mali following the coup. According to State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland, annual U.S. assistance to Mali is around $137 million, about half of which is humanitarian aid. France suspended its military cooperation with Mali yesterday.

    See also: Elizabeth Dickinson's post from 2010 on why coups always seem to be led by captains or colonels not generals.
    http://blog.foreignpolicy.com/posts/...ined_in_the_us

    About Dickinson - We've never had a successful junior officer coup in Nigeria.

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    Quote Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
    Chowing commented:

    The rebels in most reports I have read were mercenaries for Gadafy and fought against a coalition that included jihadists. Returning home before the end, along with heavy weapons - which the Malian army had nothing to compare. Film footage tonight showed "technicals" and lorry-mounted rocket launchers.

    So how do these men now become linked to AQIM?
    That is exactly what the reports are saying. They are fighting for the same cause in the northern regions. That is the linkage, not of ideology or even goal. They are taking advantage the destabilization that was in the region as they began to come out of Libya.

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    Default The linkage to AQIM

    This example Chowing seems to fit the 'Accidental Guerilla' thesis of David Kilcullen, a local group with a local agenda being labelled as linked to AQ. Yet again an illustration that knowledge of what is happening in the remote parts of Africa and other places, like Mali is at a premium.
    davidbfpo

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chowing View Post
    That is exactly what the reports are saying. They are fighting for the same cause in the northern regions. That is the linkage, not of ideology or even goal. They are taking advantage the destabilization that was in the region as they began to come out of Libya.
    Hey Chowing,
    Do you have links to those reports ?

    You should give Dr. Kilcullen's Accidental Guerrilla a read... Really good stuff !
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  14. #94
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    Quote Originally Posted by KingJaja View Post
    What do you think?
    About Dickinson - We've never had a successful junior officer coup in Nigeria.
    I think the info leak should be hung for treason. Some of us (our taxes) wasted a ton of money for him/her to pine away abroad and dream up ways to leak info to the press.

    On to the meat of the matter...

    I've been sending indigenous military to US schools since 1985 and most come back with a desire to do something for their country (a noble cause). Most however do not end up doing anything with their education and the host country government almost always assigns these folks to something pathetically miniscule.

    Exposing a foreigner to life in the US is part of the program - sell America. Some don't care at all for life in the US (several Estonians have told me so), but, I don't recall one African NCO or Officer not liking his/her experience there.

    I am unaware of any study done to conclude that these soldiers came back from US training and became coup leaders. And, even if there was statistical evidence, what would we then conclude ? That the USA trained future coup leaders vs sending them to the schools originally intended ? Some of us have been watching too many Hollywood movies

    Quote Originally Posted by KingJaja View Post
    About Dickinson - We've never had a successful junior officer coup in Nigeria.
    Not sure if there's anecdotal evidence to support Elizabeth's theory. Mobutu was little more than a 6th grade educated sergeant and look what he accomplished
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stan View Post
    They (some of us) also deny the fact that cannibalism exists. At least until they see a body face down in a ditch with no meat on the calves
    The favorite sources for intel in Kinshasa were the cooks. I could barely wait for the Monday briefings having just drove around the city with Tom to make sure we actually saw what we would report on. Strange concept, knowing what you are talking about
    Cannibals in the DRC?

    In Zimbabwe you need to watch out for the 'sperm hunters' (YCMTSU)

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    Default Mali capacity building info?

    Can anyone link me to some more current info on USG security capacity building efforts in Mali?

    In 2010, according to DSCA they received a paltry 200k in FMF monies. But, the Trans Saharan Counter Terrorism Initiative is funded under a different line by Congress. Am I correct? Is the TSCTI primarily implemented by AFRICOM? From what I can ascertain, AID and DoS also have a role, but I'm concerned more with the CT training part of it.

    Essentially what I'm trying to answer is: How much does the USG have invested in counter-AQIM efforts in Mali and how will these efforts be set back by the recent coup?

    I know the USG tends to work with whomever is convenient, but I doubt relations with the ruling junior officers will continue as normal.

    I'd love a link with some more solid information on training, but please do weigh in any way you see fit.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Little Doughnut View Post
    Can anyone link me to some more current info on USG security capacity building efforts in Mali?
    Hey Ben, Welcome aboard !
    As you probably already know, other than DOS and USAID, there is no one stop shopping for the info you seek. DSCA doesn't actually open their data up to the world, but their data by country is contained in the overall picture from State. We still have an SF team there now and from what I can tell they have ceased training and ops.

    Quote Originally Posted by Little Doughnut View Post
    In 2010, according to DSCA they received a paltry 200k in FMF monies. But, the Trans Saharan Counter Terrorism Initiative is funded under a different line by Congress. Am I correct? Is the TSCTI primarily implemented by AFRICOM? From what I can ascertain, AID and DoS also have a role, but I'm concerned more with the CT training part of it.
    200K in FMF may sound paltry, but Mali is getting between 140 and 170 million a year total (based on DOS and AID info, covering everything from agriculture development to military training for CT). Then there's a 5-year 460 million package from MCC to boot. All this cash may be funded under different lines, but it's still all State's money regardless of which pot you get it from.

    Quote Originally Posted by Little Doughnut View Post
    ... and how will these efforts be set back by the recent coup?
    Other than humanitarian aid, all the other money and training are on hold.

    Quote Originally Posted by Little Doughnut View Post
    I know the USG tends to work with whomever is convenient, but I doubt relations with the ruling junior officers will continue as normal.
    That actually is no longer the case and I doubt the USG will be communicating with coup plotters regarding FMF or any other assistance.

    Regards, Stan
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 03-25-2012 at 03:04 PM. Reason: Billion replaced by million at authors request
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    Quote Originally Posted by JMA View Post
    Cannibals in the DRC?

    In Zimbabwe you need to watch out for the 'sperm hunters' (YCMTSU)
    JMA,
    Far worse things have happened to me in Africa !
    But, to be subdued and forced to have sex... That has yet to happen

    Susan Dhliwayo claims she pulled her car over recently to pick up a group of male hitchhikers and they refused to get in, because they feared they were going to be raped.

    "Now, men fear women. They said: 'we can't go with you because we don't trust you'," 19-year-old Miss Dhliwayo recounted.

    Local media have reported victims of the highway prowlers being drugged, subdued at gun or knife point – even with a live snake in one case – given a sexual stimulant and forced into repeated sex before being dumped on the roadside.
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    Stan, thanks for the swift and thorough response!

    Now that the USG can do little more than sit on the sidelines and hope the forthcoming election happens on time (ha), I wonder how much capacity has been built for their two-brigade military to handle AQIM and the Tuareg insurgency? According to the WSJ the Tuaregs are about to roll unopposed into Timbuktu. Even though the Tuareg and AQIM aren't necessarily one in the same, I smell the potential for a safe(r) haven to arise out of this.
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    U.S. weighs $137M in aid to Mali after coup

    WASHINGTON — The Obama administration is weighing the future of military aid to Mali after soldiers in the African country ousted their president and declared a coup.

    State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said no decision has been made. She said officials would meet Thursday to talk about the $137 million in annual U.S. counterterrorism and other assistance.

    Army mutineers said they overthrew the government because of its mishandling of an ethnic insurgency in northern Mali.

    Nuland wouldn’t call it a coup. She expressed hope the “military action” could quickly be reversed so that Mali returns to democratic governance.

    The U.S. has long cited Mali as an African example of a thriving democracy.

    The White House also condemned the violence in Mali and voiced support for Mali’s president, Amadou Toumani Toure.
    Canada halts aid to Mali after military coup

    In a sharp reaction to the military takeover and suspension of the constitution, Ottawa is blasting “illegitimate rule” in a country where Canada has been a major donor, sending $109-million in aid last year. Mali is one of Canada’s biggest aid recipients, with much of the money passing directly through government coffers in Bamako.
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